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It's school time again!

After what felt like the SHORTEST summer break yet, we're a couple weeks in to another school year already. In some ways, the summer went by too quickly because we stayed so busy all summer, but we were ready to get back into the swing of things. We had a really REEEALLY busy summer, but it was also a great one. Some of the kids did swim team for the first time and really enjoyed it despite the 6 am practices. All but one did swimming lessons or diving classes and they all loved that too. In the past, I've felt like they didn't get much out of swimming lessons but it was great to watch how much progress they made after a solid 6 or 7 weeks of practice. Keeping them busy helped keep them happy too.
Aside from all the pool time, we spent a lot of time at the library, playing with friends, having lunch at one of the nearby schools, doing chores, and reading. We spent a lot of time (almost all of it) together, and it was just what we needed. Sometimes that was exhausting in its own way because it's hard to keep the peace sometimes, but I'm grateful to have kids who enjoy each other's company. 

School is off to a good start too. We were super sad to find out a week before school started that our wonderful school nurse was not coming back. She is one of the reasons I was able to have peace of mind in sending Raya to school. Like I explained when I did the tube feeding training for a group of school nurses recently, when parents have devoted themselves for their child's whole life to getting the child to a point that they are healthy enough to actually go to school, and they know how hard that job has been and how hard they've had to work to get and keep their child that healthy and stable, it is incredibly difficult to turn such an important part of the child's care over to someone else even for a few hours every day. We have been so fortunate to have school staff who provide such great care to Raya while she's at school that it was really sad to see our nurse go, but we know she's in good hands with the new nurse too. She's also very blessed to have the same aide this year that she had last year and we are very grateful for that!

We have kids in 3 different schools this year so that's been something new to adjust to, but it's actually working out really well with the different schedules they have. Since they have different start and end times, it's been much easier to devote the time each of them need to help with homework and check in with how they're doing. 

We are the luckiest parents. I don't know how we got such great kids but we really hit the jackpot. Each of them has a unique personality and they each add such depth and dimension to our family dynamic. Part of me is nostalgic to see how quickly they're growing up and I miss their younger selves, but I absolutely love watching them grow and develop as they reach different stages of life. The older ones are starting to think about the future more, and what they might want to do when they grow up. Sometimes I'm amazed by the maturity they show when we talk about their futures and I love to see how they look at the world. We are doing the best we can to cherish this stage of life with each of them because we realize how precious and fleeting their childhood is. Our focus over the summer was cultivating deeper relationships within our family, and we have seen the difference already that this has made. One of my greatest hopes for our children is that they will have close relationships with each other as adults. I remember rolling my eyes as a kid when someone would tell me that friends would come and go in my life but my siblings would always be there. I'm so grateful to be able to say that as an adult, I consider my siblings to be some of my very best friends. That is what I want for our kids, so our focus in guiding their relationships with each other has been teaching them to have empathy for each other when they have disagreements, and teaching them to serve each other and take care of each other. Things aren't always that peachy, but that's the goal and it is awesome to see them interact kindly with each other and with those around them.

Well, this turned into more of a rambly love-fest than I meant for it to but I am really just so grateful that we are where we are in life. Things aren't perfect but they're pretty darn good and I'm grateful for that as we start off on another school year.

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